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Seton Hall point guard forced to leave team for Israeli military service

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Seton Hall guard Tom Maayan shoots during the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Barclays Center Nov. …

Injuries end seasons and careers, players decide to transfer, coaches are hired and fired. These are the typical scenarios that lead to emotional goodbyes in locker rooms all over the nation each season in any sport.

The Seton Hall men's basketball team experienced a loss a bit outside standard operating procedure Tuesday night when sophomore point guard Tom Maayan and coach Kevin Willard informed the rest of the Pirates that Maayan had just played his last game in the program, a 71-55 win over NJIT.

Maayan has been ordered home to Israel to resume his training in the Israeli Defense Forces starting Jan. 2. All Israeli citizens are required to serve in the IDS when they turn 18. Men must serve three years and women two.

"He has an opportunity to get back home and further his career and take care of his obligations to the military," Willard told The Star-Ledger.

Maayan, a product of Galil, Israel, went home for three months in the summer to begin his training but was able to work out a deal that allowed him to return to school and his basketball career with the promise that he would complete his service later. He recently learned the deal only allowed him an additional three months before his re-enlistment.

While Maayan certainly will be missed by his coaches and teammates, he wasn't a heavy statistical contributor so far this season and the team should be able to compensate. Maayan played in 10 games with one start and was averaging 16 minutes a game and 2.5 points. He was the Pirates second leading distributor with 27 assists.

The Pirates will probably miss his experience and dependability most. He played in all 33 games last season and started 17 times.

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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